I have started living life the way "other" people do, it seems.
I had my first sip of wine (other than that served at communion) on Christmas Eve. It was an event that passed by without much fanfare (just the way I wanted it) and yet I was SO proud to be able to be just a normal person, enjoying a glass of wine with family.
I stopped drinking alcohol November 30th (You can read here and here for the gory details) of 2003 as an opportunity to get my affairs in order. Most aspects of my life are back to normal (save for my ultimate fears of being financially responsible and organized) and I feel I have made a full recovery from a dangerous trek on that troubled path called Party Girl Avenue. No more drinking until 4:30 in the morning. On a Tuesday. Only to go to work then next morning (really). No more popping open the Crystal (yeah, right. More likely the Woodford or Absolut. Or the Guinness. Or the merlot. Or if desperate the Vendage.) to rock out until I'd turned out every light in Lexington.
Now I really don't even get wild. Sometimes I get a wild hair and put on my dancin' shoes and my fun clothes (doesn't every girl have fun clothes?) and spend some quality time on the dance floor of my favorite hip-hop club.
But I digress.
Christmas Eve I decided I'd dabble in the world of responsible drinking. I know the naysayers will warn me... no, scold me for crossing that line in the sand... the gray space between sobriety and all-out drunkenness. But I firmly believe I have done enough work on me personally and have given this matter enough consideration. I absolutely believe I can drink responsibly, and will now be instituting a two drink max per evening for myself. I know I can handle these ground rules, and what better way to start this next phase of my life, than at a holiday dinner surrounded by my family?
The meal was pasta carbonara (with ham instead of bacon, and peas thrown in for a bit of green), cooked by my brother-in-law. The wine was a chardonnay (not my favorite). I started out with only half a glass... and I didn't even finish that much. However, the moment was a little triumph in my book.
In AA... they talk about how "other" people can drink responsibly. "Other" people don't binge drink the way alcoholics do. "Other" people don't stare at the bottle at the table, scan the glasses at each setting and size up just how much wine is considered their "share" at one setting. "Other" people don't write bad checks to buy alcohol.
By the same token... alcoholics aren't consumed with anything but drinking. Those folks haven't yet cultivated other interests and passions to keep themselves occupied, activities and people they can count on to fill their days, instead of happy hours, late nights and drink specials.
I don't really know where I fit on that continuum between the two contrasting lifestyles. I've been wet and I've been dry. Both phases have been a blast for varying different qualities, but both have been miserable, too.
It will be interesting to see how this next phase works out.
Oh, and that first sip? It was great.